A few months earlier, Barack Obama promised that a use of chemical weapons by Syria’s regime would cross a red line and would justify action against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. So when a recent poison gas attack killed hundreds of Syrian civilians, Barack Obama called on Congress to authorize a military strike to send a message to Assad that he must stick to killing rebels and civilians using conventional weapons only. However, the idea of a military action against Syria isn’t too popular, and opponents and supporters keep debating whether the US should get involved. Here are 10 arguments for and against the US military action against the Assad regime.
1) Pro: If the US fails to take decisive action against Assad, we risk undermining our reputation as a country that is ready to attack anyone, anywhere, and for any reason whatsoever.
2) Against: Barack Obama had called on Congress to return from their August vacation early so that Congress may take an emergency vote on the military action, but Congressional leaders decided to stay on vacation. Clearly, if the matter of civil war in Syria is not important enough for Congressmen to return from their month-long vacation a couple of days early, it’s definitely not important enough to warrant a military action.
3) Pro: Russian veto prevents any action by the United Nations, so the United States must take matters into its own hands. And Russians are not likely to change their position: Russia just passed a law banning any gay propaganda just as the US allowed gays to serve in the military, and therefore Russians now deem any US military action to be illegal gay propaganda.
4) Against: Budget cuts may cause an international embarrassment for the US, if an attack order is sent down the chain of command, but the missile isn’t launched because the guy who was supposed to press the big red button had been sent on an extended furlough.
5) Pro: The French support the military action, which means they foresee zero risk of their defeat or surrender.
6) Against: Although the Republican majority in Congress is eager to remove a ruthless dictator, they plan to achieve that goal by impeaching Obama.
7) Pro: This will not be a full-scale war, but a limited military involvement; however “limited” might just mean “anything short of total annihilation of the planet”.
8) Against: Attacking Syria for poisoning civilians with gases sets a dangerous precedent, and may lead to future military actions against the private companies engaged in fracking and air pollution.
9) Pro: Pentagon’s 10 year contract with defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Raytheon guarantees them at least one new war every year.
10) Against: We should not rush to attack until we exhaust all possible diplomatic options, weigh all potential consequences, organize a coalition, plan an exit strategy, by which time Bashar al-Assad should die of old age and the problem will solve itself.